Basic Pushes for Power (Madison Hubbell)

World and Olympic ice dance medalist Madison Hubbell continues a skating skills lesson at a seminar/camp. Part 1 focused on skating skills associated with generating power from edges. This part focuses on the fundamentals of pushing for power. Madison describes a powerful basic push as having both feet together and both legs generally straight before bending both knees deeply and then pushing completely through the extending leg. The non-extending leg remains bent throughout the push, and then rises up as the pushing leg is brought back to the side-by-side starting position, which Madison describes as “squeezing the legs together.” She prefers the fully extended pushing leg to remain straight during the process of bringing the feet back together to prepare for the next push because this ensures a complete push to a straight leg without bending it prematurely.

Sometimes power is lost in basic pushes simply based on shoulder position. Madison describes the slight counter-rotation of the body (“cross body position”) needed for maximum power generation. In other words, as the pushing foot presses back the shoulder on that side needs to press forward slightly. The stroke direction is also important since it’s important to open the pushing hip enough to keep the blade touching the ice. Madison notes that this push direction is not straight back as that tends to close the hip and force the skater toward the toe pick, but rather a strong push presses backward at a slight diagonal to allow the hip to open. She demonstrates this with an in-place skidding drill which she has the skater do as well. When done correctly, the skid is very long without the skater losing balance over the balance/gliding foot.


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